...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Braeval 23 year old 1996 Chieftain's, cask 111109

It's fair to say I'm a fan of bourbon cask Braevals. It's the summery honey and fruit style that gets me every time. If Pernod Ricard ever committed to a regular Braes range, it would probably become A Thing. For like five minutes. Despite this bottle's hefty price tag, I did consider blindly buying a bottle, instead I'll settle for a split.

Distillery: Braeval
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Region: Speyside (Banffshire)
Independent Bottler: Ian McLeod
Range: Chieftain's
Age: 23 years old (July 1996 - August 2019)
Maturation: bourbon barrel
Cask number: 111109
Outturn: 209 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 53.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No
(from a bottle split)

Orange creamsicles, rose blossoms, cloves, nutmeg and chocolate malt read loudest the nose, with hints of strawberry Bubble Yum and vanilla bean in the background. The palate starts off with malt, honey, sweet shisha and apricot jam. Lots of apricot jam. Then raspberries, yuzu and fruity cinnamon. Great tart/sweet balance. It finishes with honey, lemons, apricot jam, toasted grains and a hint of smoked vanilla bean.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose becomes even brighter! Lots of citrus peels, minty ice cream and brown sugar. A little bit of tapioca pudding, dunnage and that green plant which is still illegal in Ohio. And I don't mean broccoli. Or do I? Though the palate is full of peach ice cream, butterscotch pudding and fruity cinnamon it's not too sweet. There are some tart lemons, a gentle smokiness around the edges, maybe some nectarines in the back. The finish is all lemons, nectarines and butterscotch.

I could drink this stuff all day, so it's probably a good thing I have only a sample of it. It would be a great summer pour. Or any season really. Though this Braeval delivers neither complexity nor the longest of finishes, I'd bet most Speyside distilleries would love to capture this style. Just radiant fruity fun.

Availability - As with the previous two Chieftain's, there are probably several bottles of this whisky on retailer shelves out there somewhere in America.
Pricing - $185-$225 (Can I wish this down to $125?)
Rating - 88